Mav­com does not un­der­stand air­line busi­ness, says AirAsia

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE -

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd yes­ter­day crit­i­cised the Malaysian Avi­a­tion Com­mis­sion (Mav­com) for fail­ing to un­der­stand the na­ture of the air­line busi­ness.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Riad As­mat said the avi­a­tion body not only does not un­der­stand the in­dus­try but it was also do­ing more harm than good to the Malaysian avi­a­tion sec­tor by try­ing to mi­cro-man­age it.

It is hold­ing the in­dus­try back with slow ap­provals and high charges while other coun­tries in­vest heav­ily in in­creased air traf­fic con­nec­tiv­ity, to the detri­ment of the Malaysian tourism sec­tor and the econ­omy. Riad As­mat, AirAsia CEO

“It is hold­ing the in­dus­try back with slow ap­provals and high charges while other coun­tries in­vest heav­ily in in­creased air traf­fic con­nec­tiv­ity, to the detri­ment of the Malaysian tourism sec­tor and the econ­omy,” he said in a state­ment yes­ter­day. Cit­ing that AirAsia has seen a three per cent de­cline in tourist ar­rivals in Malaysia to 25.95 mil­lion in 2017, Riad said Mav­com’s re­jec­tion of route ap­pli­ca­tions would only fur­ther com­pound the is­sue and ham­per the coun­try’s tourism sec­tor and econ­omy. Riad also stressed that lo­cal air­lines were al­ready lag­ging be­hind other Asean car­ri­ers in terms of to­tal weekly seats de­ployed for des­ti­na­tions in Asia. “Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Tourism Malaysia, Thai car­ri­ers have de­ployed 893,166 weekly seats while Sin­ga­pore car­ri­ers have de­ployed 661,863 com­pared with 590,422 by Malaysian car­ri­ers as of De­cem­ber 2017.

“Mav­com block­ing growth in this man­ner will only serve to ben­e­fit other re­gional air­lines who are al­lowed to grow with­out un­due re­stric­tions by their own civil avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties,” he said.

Em­pha­sis­ing that Mav­com was not an air­line, the AirAsia CEO said the avi­a­tion com­mis­sion should leave the run­ning of the air­line busi­ness to ac­tual air­lines like AirAsia who un­der­stand the mar­ket.

“We op­er­ate more than 320 routes, one-third of which are unique, to over 130 des­ti­na­tions across Asia Pa­cific, the Mid­dle East and the United States,” he added.

Yes­ter­day, Mav­com de­fended its de­ci­sion to re­ject AirAsia’s ap­pli­ca­tion to add more flights on two routes, Kota Kin­a­balu-San­dakan and Kuala Lumpur-Haikou, on the ba­sis of route over­ca­pac­ity. — Ber­nama

Riad As­mat

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